A collection fantasy stories ranging from the lighthearted to the deeply disturbing.
Curses / Jim Butcher I loved it up until the point I felt he was ma...more A collection fantasy stories ranging from the lighthearted to the deeply disturbing.
Curses / Jim Butcher I loved it up until the point I felt he was making putting down the Red Sox by stating baseball curses shouldn’t be broken.
How the Pooka Came to New York City / Delia Sherman Loved it! A lively mix of Old World fairy tales and New World opportunities.
On the Slide / Richard Bowes The story ignores its own point that you can’t run away from your problems.
The Duke of Riverside / Ellen Kushner I wasn’t sure why this was here since the setting was so very much ‘Fantasy’ rather than ‘Urban Fantasy.’
Oblivion by Calvin Klein / Christopher Fowler Spends more time with real decay than magic, but impossible to look away from the train wreck of the main character.
Fairy Gifts / Patricia Briggs I would have liked a little more about the main character, but I liked the story style and the build up to the second rescue.
Picking up the pieces / Pat Cadigan Needed more magic and then woud have been a great historical fiction fantasy piece – who doesn’t love the idea of the “real” story behind historic events?
Underbridge / Peter S. Beagle Urgh! That got… messy.
Priced to Sell / Naomi Novik Absolute best of the anthology! NYC Real Estate + Fantasy = awesome!
The bricks of Gelecek / Matthew Kressel A variation on the ‘look upon my works ye mighty and despair’ theme. Plenty of despair and how!
Weston Walks / Kit Reed Poor little rich boy meets up with an element of magic and is ready to rejet it, despite needing o get out of his own head.
The Projected Girl / Lavie Tidhar Magical realism meets Israel – hope you weren’t looking for a happy ending.
The Way Station / Nathan Ballingrud A lot more urban and realism than magic and fantasy in this story – still heartbreaking, though, as a man struggles to overcome the grief caused by his alcoholism and Hurricane Katrina.
Guns for the Dead / Melissa Marr Felt incomplete – could have used another few drafts.
And Go Like This / John Crowley This was just weird for weirdness sakes.
Noble Rot / Holly Black A classic Holly Black story – stops just shy of horror while still really getting into the underbelly of urban fantasy.
Daddy Long Legs of the Evening / Jeffrey Ford Reminded me a lot of The Venture Brother’s character ‘the Brown Widow,’ except a lot more gross.
The Skinny Girl / Lucius Shepard Modern day Mexico acts as quite the plausible setting for a mythical creature to possibly be reincarnated into.
The Colliers' Venus / Caitlin R Kiernan A little much Victorian stuffiness to really get into it.
King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree / Elizabeth Bear Vegas as the setting for Urban Fantasy is just perfect seeing as how fantastical the real city already is! (less)
Somewhere in-between an illustrated novel and a graphic novel, the story follows Conor O’Malley living a nightmare as he watches his mother slowly dyi...more Somewhere in-between an illustrated novel and a graphic novel, the story follows Conor O’Malley living a nightmare as he watches his mother slowly dying of cancer. He’s surrounded by people trying, in various ways, to help, none of which is effectual, since everyone is more or less treating him with kid gloves, making him feel utterly alone in all this.
Oh, and a tree monster is talking to him.
He’s a Yew tree, of course, a tree with a long history of association with Life and Death.
Somewhere in between metaphor and magical realism, the Yew Tree tells Conor stories about Life and Death.
An amazing piece of work about Fear and Truth, I cried twice and highly recommend it as a beautiful piece of literature, made all the more poignant for the fact the rough draft was written by a woman who was dying of cancer. (less)
It’s like someone mashed together a John Grisham novel with a Neil Gaimen novel, translated the resulting mess int...more What the #%^%*$@* did I just read?!?
It’s like someone mashed together a John Grisham novel with a Neil Gaimen novel, translated the resulting mess into Italian, then translated that into Japanese, then used BabelFish to translate it back to English. (less)
Skimmed. Didn’t read close enough to give an honest rating or review, BUT
(view spoiler)[I laughed really, really hard at the ending of our main antago...more Skimmed. Didn’t read close enough to give an honest rating or review, BUT
(view spoiler)[I laughed really, really hard at the ending of our main antagonist being captured by the new bad guy who makes the hilariously evil argument that the US government doesn’t have to give any rights to someone who is no longer legally alive or technically human… (hide spoiler)]
New York City is a place where the parts from many, many different people find themselves mixing together – food, music, fashion, religion, languages,...more New York City is a place where the parts from many, many different people find themselves mixing together – food, music, fashion, religion, languages, DNA – so why not different cultures’ mythological creatures as well?
A golem crated to be the perfect wife by a mad rabbi and a jinni enslaved to a mad wizard – creatures entirely of the Old World – find themselves in New York City, as lost and bewildered as any other Old Country immigrant fresh off the boat. They cross paths, and an unlikely yet perfect friendship builds while these two Others struggle to Pass as human. (Oh the never ending theme of the “Other” “Passing” in America!)
Tension builds as Wecker develops the characters filling up the little pockets of the Old Countries that sprang up all over New York, making the reader care desperately for each and every one of these New Americans. (less)
Considering this is the same author who re-wrote Swan Lake to give the classic tragedy a happy ending, it’s no surprise that Hans Christen Anderson’s...more Considering this is the same author who re-wrote Swan Lake to give the classic tragedy a happy ending, it’s no surprise that Hans Christen Anderson’s heart breaking tale of the Steadfast Tin Soldier ends quite happily after Mercedes Lackey has gotten through with it.
It was an entertaining read – a literal beach read in my case – and I read it straight through rather than skimming or skipping anything, but I can’t recommend it for being anything more than the literary equivalent of a summer popcorn thriller – something you watch just once to while away a hot summer day without having to think.
Oh, sure, Lackey throws in a theme that all humans should have civil liberties, freedom from fear, pursuit of life and happiness and all that important jazz, but when the enemy of those things is such a one dimensional villain, you just can’t take anything she says about equality seriously.
The protagonists, for that matter, aren’t that deep themselves, but I’m willing to blame the fact that no one does anything on the fact the book takes place during a heat wave. And really, when it’s so hot, who wants to do anything so strenuous as plot? (less)
A friend recommended this book. It’s not my usual genre, but I read it, and while it didn’t blow my socks off, it was a fun read.
So, Girl with a close...more A friend recommended this book. It’s not my usual genre, but I read it, and while it didn’t blow my socks off, it was a fun read.
So, Girl with a close knit, Crazy Family moves to the Big City to prove she can pursue her Dreams on her own, but keeps getting sucked back into the Family Business, served with a Paranormal twist.
You know the story.
McGuire borrows heavily from other sources – Ugly Americans, Hellboy and a lot of Muppet movies in particular. To be fair, the author gives the audience a few winks, outright admitting at one point that one of her monsters are straight out of Land of the Lost.
My biggest problem was the constant info dumping got in the way of the actual story. It made me feel like I had picked up a book mid-series, or that this was the beginning of a spin off series, rather than the first book of a series in its own right. The world building is too… too something, I’m just not sure what.
She doesn’t trust the reader to keep up as she repeats ad nasueum about how everyone hates her family and keeps throwing unnecessary family history at the reader’s head, again, distracting from the actual story. Also, the fact that the main male character was raised in a bubble left me cold. If he had been a time traveler or from another dimension, then maybe his character would have worked, but, really boy, you had absolutely no knowledge of any pop culture? Please.
Still, whatever problems the book has, mechanics wise, the mice steal the show. The main character lives with a colony of mice in her apartment who talk, demand high quality baked goods, and worship her as a high priestess in their convoluted religion which involves a noisy, happy, feast day every single day. Now that is a religion I can get on board with! (less)
Bailey Cates’ Brownies and Broomsticks is one of many new chic lit offerings featuring a witch, rather than a...more So, witches are totally the new vampire.
Bailey Cates’ Brownies and Broomsticks is one of many new chic lit offerings featuring a witch, rather than a vampire (or vampire hunter/handler), looking for love and dealing with the trials and tribulations of both day to day problems, both supernatural and mundane.
It’s a light offering, introducing a whole slew of characters for what will probably be a very long series of Ms. Lightfoot running a bakery, cooking up spells, fighting crime – both the ordinary kind and the Powers-of-Darkness variety, and figuring out which of the two hunky southern gentlemen who practically proposed when she met them she shall choose to fall in love with.
I wasn’t enthralled, and it was probably because I was put off early on in the story when Ms. Lightfoot is astounded to learn her aunt, mother, father, grandmother and herself are all magical, and she never had a clue.
This rang false to me on two levels.
One, it seems pretty dense for a character wander around for three decades and never, ever notice anything weird about her own family.
Two, it was just so… so twentieth century. Look at the sci-fi and fantasy offerings from the 20th and 21st centuries and a major difference that pops up is hiding verses in-your-face characters, being very reflective of people hiding who they were in the 20th century while now being in a position to come out and say: this is who I am.
It would be a whole graduate thesis to get into the whole thing, but, basically, sci-fi and fantasy characters usually act as metaphors for current social issues – and a lot of issues in the 20thc entry were due to people hiding who they were due to non acceptance – so the witches and aliens and vampires of the 20th century hid who they were, or the fear was, like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, you didn’t know who was Other, just as back then there was a fear of people pretending to be ordinary to cover up being a Communist. Bradley’s mystic ladies hid out on the Isle of Avalon, just as people in the late 20th century were afraid to admit to their sexual orientation, while on the 21st century TV show True Blood, the vampires join the world at large, just as so many people today have publicly come out, refusing to hide who they are.
So, yeah, characters “passing” as “normal” really raised my hackles, because it is 2012, for god-of-your-choice sakes! (less)
Its Mean Girls meets Peter Pan with a heavy handed magic-equals-drugs metaphor. Very Water Babies on crack.
The descriptions of the settin...more Don’t bother.
Its Mean Girls meets Peter Pan with a heavy handed magic-equals-drugs metaphor. Very Water Babies on crack.
The descriptions of the setting and actions and physical traits of the characters are all very well done, I’ll give it that, but did not weigh out my annoyance with the amount of telling rather than showing, the fact that the main character is a Mary Sue (all of the mermaids have super powers, but she has super-super powers!), and, in the name of more book sales, the story ends mid-plot, no resolution, to try and make sure we come back for the sequel.
Accurate descriptions of world war one, of both men and women, on and off the Front, some cool magic, some pretty spine tingling evil magic, desc...more Pros:
Accurate descriptions of world war one, of both men and women, on and off the Front, some cool magic, some pretty spine tingling evil magic, descriptions of comfort food that will make you drool, zombie-fighting mongooses (mongeese?), a hero who gives Lord Peter Whimsy a run for his money, and a heroine who knows when to run and when to stand and fight.
The story keeps… drifting. Just when you think everything’s heading to a specific climax as important upcoming dates are mentioned, the deadline passes and things just keep moving along. I was really sorry the story didn’t include the Christmas Peace – that would have been a hell of an ending.